A vaccine group has acquired 200 million Johnson & Johnson doses to distribute to poorer countries who are having trouble obtaining the coronavirus vaccines and richer countries that are part of the COVAX program.
Gavi’s goal is to make the 200 million doses available this year to “both self-financing and Gavi COVAX AMC-eligible participants,” their announcement states.
The COVAX program, a United Nations initiative, has the goal to provide poorer countries with vaccines while partnering with richer countries who have an easier time paying for the vaccines.
“Today’s agreement between Gavi and Johnson & Johnson means the COVAX Facility is able to offer participants yet another safe and effective tool against the pandemic. I welcome Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to equitable access and to expanding global manufacturing through external partnerships, which is something that will provide long-lasting benefits even after this pandemic is over,” Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, said.
“As a one-dose vaccine, the J&J vaccine has particular relevance for places with difficult infrastructure, making it a very important addition to the portfolio,” Berkeley added.
Canada is one of the richer countries that will receive vaccine doses from the COVAX program, as they received more than 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine, The Associated Press reported.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine had setbacks this year as use of the vaccine was paused in the U.S. after reports of blood clots, but has overcome the hurdles and been used in many countries around the world.
“Gavi will continue to assess the COVAX Facility portfolio and participants’ needs and will remain in discussions with Johnson & Johnson on potential supply of 300 million additional doses in 2022,” the announcement states.